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Chaptar-10

STRUGGLE TO SAVEGUARD DENTISTRY / CORRESPONDANCE WITH PMDC REGARDING TEACHERS IN DENTISTRY AT POST-GRADUATE LEVEL

The Central Council of Pakistan Dental Association felt obliged for your last visit to the Dental College, Lahore, in which restriction was imposed in those subjects in which teachers were not available. Two students have been converted to Preventive and Public Health Dentistry in place of Conservation and they have been attached to the Department of Dental Public Health, Institute of Hygiene and Preventive Medicine, 6-Birdwood Road, Lahore, for the purpose of research and thesis for Master Degree under the tutorship of Dr. M. A. Soofi, Associate Professor and Chairman of the Department.

The then Dean of the Institute constituted a Supervisory Committee for the students of University of the Punjab in the subject of Preventive Dentistry. The other student has been attached to Associate Professor (Dr. Waheed Sheikh) of Prosthetics Department, de'Montmorency College of Dentistry. It may be added that Dr. Waheed Sheikh also possesses the postgraduate qualification in Preventive Dentistry and later on MDS Prosthetics. However, students of MDS of Postgraduate level in the Postgraduate Medical Institute for the last two years, but so far he could not write his thesis and research work.

It has been brought to the notice of Pakistan Dental Association, Lahore, that the senior teachers at de'Montmorency College of Dentistry, have not written their thesis for Master Degree Examination and this has come to light when the students searched libraries for thesis of their teachers and they could not find that of Prof. B. A. Yazdani and Prof. M. Saleem Cheema. Students wanted to know whether these teachers have written their thesis for Master Degree or not. It is difficult to satisfy the students. Thus the Central Council decided to seek your help and guidance on the following points: -

  • Can any Master Degree Holder afford to guide the research students if he could not get the chance to write his own thesis or research work for his Master Degree?
  • Whether for MDS thesis is a must for teachers or not? Should we take that a teacher, who could not write his thesis for his Master Degree, shall not be able to guide in the field of research under the Council advice or not?
  • Can any Associate Professor with Diploma from a foreign country and research publications can be a teacher for postgraduate level or not or are there any specific qualifications for the teachers prescribed by the Council?
  • Is the MDS Degree recognized by the Pakistan Medical and Dental Council? If so, what are the qualifications or conditions for recognition? Is thesis essential? If not, the reasons therefore?
  • Are Master Degrees of Prof. M. Saleem Cheema and Prof. B. A. Yazdani recognized by the Pakistan Medical and Dental Council? If recognized, date and place?
  • Have the Council recognized teachers, their qualifications, publications, etc. for postgraduate level? If so, please advise?
  • Are there any rules of the Council that Supervisors or Examiners may possess different speciality than that of the examinee? For example, a student is to appear in Prosthetics or Conservation, his External Examiner or Guide does not possess the qualification? If such a student is declared successful, still the Council have ruling about it?
  • Can a retired Principal (1953) become Examiners for Postgraduate Degree (MDS) when he himself is MBBS, BDS only and he is appointed Examiner for every speciality of MDS. The learned Principal does not possess thesis or research works and is an old graduate.

BACKGROUND:
Sir, this profession is facing lot of hurdle by some vested interests. Teachers possess degree without thesis or research. Degree is a different subject. Candidate is a different subject. What is a novel position? After partition of Sub continent, there was dearth of genuine teachers. Supplementarians were available for the job of demonstratorship. Late Dr. H. R. Shah was a noble hearted personality-son-in-law of the then Vice Chancellor of the Punjab University, who happened to be a L.D.S. (Licentiate in Dental Surgery), brought from the Army to act as Principal, who with good intention gave “Bakhshish of MDS to five persons (in which present two are teachers of the Dental College). Dr. H. R. Shah was a very influential man, he got a separate board of Dentistry at Punjab University and himself as a Chairman that constituted board of study expunged the thesis from the Master Degree. The “Bakhshished Master Degree” holders are now running the show and all what is happening, it goes to their credit until or unless the Council takes some keen interest, the dental profession is going to an end.
Kindly make a Sub committee regarding postgraduate education comprising of teachers of other institutions and I offer my services too. So that some fruitful results are obtained.

Note: - PMDC vide letter No. PF.89-F-77/3509, dated 18th November, 1979 has put this in the meeting and decision has not so far been made. Sub committee has been formed. No action has so far been taken. At present, if the Degree of Prof. M. Saleem Cheema is not being recognized, then he stands no credit in respect of his qualification and his additional Diploma of M. Sc. Non clinical Pathology stands in action. Therefore, he is only entitled to be examiner or teacher in non-clinical pathology and he cannot be examiner or teacher for rest of the MDS Classes.

PMDC vide letter No. PF.59/F-81(2)/7353, dated 13th May, 1982, constituted a Committee. Still the result has not so far been communicated.
With kind regards. Yours Faithfully,
Sd/- PRESIDENT
Pakistan Dental Association Lahore
Dated 19th May, 1980
Letter to Secretary, PMDC, Islamabad by Secretary PDA
Sir,
The Pakistan Medical and Dental Council is the sacred institution comprising of notable members of this profession and a member from the legal profession. To us the major objective of such a Council is to develop educational standards in the medical field, based on honesty and integrity. Furthermore, prestige of the Council is dependent upon the individual character, which is a member and all the members represent nation's image. Prestige of such a highly placed institution, whose job is management, control and establishment of code of ethics from practicing doctors, is based upon the philosophy of equality and justice. Perhaps it might be another function of the Council to develop fraternity among the members and provide opportunity to participate in the promotion of the Medical and Dental profession, the scientific thoughts and duplication of mind of persons based upon the peaks of honesty is the actual goal. If a member is otherwise, it shall definitely affect the magnitude and the prestige of the Council.
We have approached the Council previously in our telegraphic message and a letter of 6th January, 1980, but the Council could not establish the charges leveled against a highly placed and identified person as a member for his malpractice's in the past and the decision has not so far been formulated. It shall be ironical fate for this profession, if a “charged” member is taken to this Council, which is undoubtedly a highest and supreme body, and is annexed with unmoralistic personality. I am afraid, this decision, if taken, is not based upon justice. Justice demands that the culprits may be identified and their motives may be publicized so that other human beings placed at the helm of affairs of an institution should not repeat the false and misdeed and this shall curb the incentive for others to follow malpractices. If it is repeated, the council shall be blamed for such bad cultivation and malpractice. There are other persons of caliber and good integrity, who can be declared as Members and this is in conjunction with ‘Islam' and Equality of Justice and the welfare of the dental profession.

Principal of the Dental College has conveyed through the legal Adviser to the Council that he has been elected as Member of the Council and his name shall be notified. This notification should not be taken by the Council and should be held in abeyance.

He was withdrawn from the Council on the basis of the charges leveled against him. If the council feels some difficulty, the Pakistan Dental Association is prepared to help the Council for the justice and for the promotion of the dental profession and to prevent the repetitions of wrong doings of an individual. The Pakistan Dental Association is prepared to present in person the real facts in the meeting of the Council to be held at Karachi on 4th June, 1980 and to prove the charges leveled against the learned professor.

I am sure, the Council shall consider this submission of the Association and shall not allow the notification of his nomination to the council to be issued and, in such circumstances we shall be allowed to represent the cause of the Association personally by a representative nominated by the Association in the meeting of the Council to be held on 4th June, 1980 at Karachi.
The above decision has been approved by the Executive Council of the Pakistan Dental Association, Lahore, in its meeting held on 18th May, 1980.
Yours faithfully,
Sd/-
Dr. Shuja ud Din Qureshi
General Secretary PDA Lahore

Letter written to Secretary, PMDC Islamabad—Pakistan Medical Council and not Pakistan Medical and Dental Council–an integrated profession dated 19th Jan, 1980

The Central Council of the Pakistan Dental Association has decided as follows in a meeting held on 17th January 1980 at Lahore, under chairmanship of Professor Dr. M. A. Soofi:

Since the teeth are part and parcel of the body and, as such, they are embedded in the Mandible and Maxilla and are being controlled by the muscles of the mastication and other nervous system supported by general blood supply. They are part of the body both anatomically and physiologically. Therefore, the Central Council of the Pakistan Dental Association feels that Dentistry is an integral part of medicine. It is a subject and a speciality like Obstetrics, Gynecology and Ophthalmology and so on. Therefore, the name should be “one” for one body. The Central Council of Pakistan Dental Association felt that the Medical and Dental Council means ‘Dentistry' is not a medicine but is otherwise. Therefore, we request that the name of the “Pakistan Medical and Dental Council” should be “ Pakistan Medical Council”. All matters concerning this science should be considered at par with Cardiology, Psychiatry, Pediatrics, Ophthalmology and Dermatology, etc. In this way, there shall be more integration and cooperation and the gulf shall be united.

The Central Council of the Pakistan Dental Association feels that the “Pakistan Medical and Dental council” should divert much of the attention towards the Dental Education and its uplift. This can only be done if the medical men own Dentistry as part and parcel of the general system and body. There are many countries of the world like Belgium, Italy, Scandinavia, etc. where Dentistry is a specialized Branch of medicine being obtained after medical graduation. Even in U. K., most of the Dental Professors are basically Medical Graduates. The profession remained integrated in U. K. Upto 1956 when the Specialists in this Specialty increased in number, research and teaching, the British Medical Council opted for having a separate British Dental Council. Even then, the education is integrated both at the under graduate and post graduate levels at almost all the British institutions. This can only happen, when the majority of the oral specialists prevails and there are more Oral Bacteriologists, Oral Pathologists, and in such circumstances, the separate Council can function in a better way. Otherwise, it is difficult to promote the cause of profession and its education with the present stuff and absence of research and creative motives.

The Central Council recommends that there should be a few lectures on Dental Public Health for Medical Graduates in all Medical Colleges of Pakistan, as it used to be previously. The Dental Council concerned over the deprivation of Medical Graduates from the knowledge and teaching of this vital part of the body. The Medical Graduates should know that dental Anatomy, Physiology and Bacteriology etc. are sources diagnosis and therapeutics for the general health in order to help their ailing patients, relatives and themselves. Similarly, the Dental Public Health should be part and parcel of all the post-graduate Diplomas like FCDS, DCH, DMCH, DPH, DO and DA, etc. as the knowledge should be shared to all the persons dealing with the human body.

The Council is of the view that there should be some lectures on Orthopedics to the students of under graduates in Dentistry and they should be provided opportunities to attend the Operation Theatres for Facio Maxillary surgery. The Council also feels that the curriculum for BDS should be changed and the duration should be made to 5 years instead of 4 years. The Community Dentistry, Ophthalmology Psychiatry and Social Sciences should be added so that the curriculum is modified to bring out a competent Dental Officer.

The Medical Graduates, who wanted to have specialization in Dentistry, should be given post graduate Diploma or Degree instead of BDS. Any body can adopt specialty. Why this should not be given option to Medical Graduates for having post graduate Diploma or Degree in Dentistry. He may be given option to have the Diploma in Public Health Dentistry, Orthodontic and Periodontology, etc.

The Central Council of the Pakistan Dental Association feels how the Medical and Dental Council has taken away the Science of jaws out of the body. It was not a good suggestion and it was not an excellent acceptance. Therefore, the name should be one as the aim is one i.e. service to the ailing humanity. The healers of the jaws should not be considered separate creatures.

The Pakistan Medical and Dental Council may also consider that the Dental Graduates should be allowed to work as Demonstrators for Head and Neck in Anatomy and elsewhere in all the medical colleges.
Sd/-
Dr Shuja ud Din Qureshi
General Secretary
REPRESENTATION BY
Dr. Mazhar ul Haq Qureshi,
Assistant Professor, de'Montmorency College of Dentistry, Lahore

Dr. M. Waheed Sheikh,
Demonstrator, de'Montmorency College of Dentistry, Lahore

Dr. M. A. Soofi,
Demonstrator, Head of Dept of Dental Public Health,
Preventive & Hygiene Institute, Lahore.
PRESENTED TO


Dr. A. A. Wyne, Member, Medical and Dental Council of Pakistan for inclusion in the Agenda of the forthcoming meeting of the Council at Quetta.

The Medical and Dental Council of Pakistan in its last meeting held at Karachi had given thorough consideration to the regulations for the appointment of Assistant Professors and Professors etc., and had decided that in Dental Institutions in the Departments which were headed by the Professors, a Post of Assistant Professor may also be created to bridge the gap between the Demonstrators and Professors.

On the directive of Medical and Dental Council of Pakistan No. PF.11-F-74/1246, dated 9th October 1974, the Government of the Punjab, Department of Health and the Finance Department were accordingly requested in the light of the above mentioned directive by the Former Principal, Professor Haider Tirmzi of the de'Montmorency College of Dentistry, Lahore, but surprisingly the demand for the posts of Assistant Professors was not acceded to by the Finance Department on the ground that the Council had not given a fair enough justification on which the Finance Department could agree although the Department of Health strongly supported this necessary improvement.

The posts demanded were in line with the requirements of the Medical and Dental Council of Pakistan. No unit could function properly without a full staff. This is a pattern approved by the Government for all teaching institutions. Even the newly started Medical Colleges are being provided with the full staff.

There has always been unanimous disapproval from the members over the existing conditions in the de'Montmorency College of Dentistry, Lahore where four Professors of four major subjects are only supported by Demonstrators. Lately, on the retirement of Professor Haider Tirmzi efforts are being made to run the department of Orthodontia and to impart teaching of the subject by the only available junior most Demonstrator in the subject. The teaching Institutions fall in the category of vocational departments so the fate of any department could easily be visualized when no second responsible man i.e. Assistant Professor is available during the vocational period of the professor. The in-adequacy of this steep fall is glaringly self explanatory. At the same time gap between the post of Demonstrator and Professor is not conducive to efficiency and is agitating the minds of Demonstrators having no prospects of promotion inspite of their best qualifications.

The Finance Department however, wanted more justification from the Medical and Dental Council to sanction these posts. The Council has been previously apprised of this requirement of the Finance Department and requested for necessary recommendation and acceptable justification vide letter No. 1156 dated 31.3.1975 of the Principal, de'Montmorency College of Dentistry, Lahore.
The Finance Department keeping in view the increased number of students from this year, has sanctioned one post of Assistant Professor w.e.f. 25.4.1975 for one of the basic subjects (Chemistry of Dental Materials) in de'Montmorency College of Dentistry, Lahore and two posts of Assistant Professors in Dental Section, Nishtar Medical College, Multan from 1.7.1975.

Our humble submission is that according to the regulations for Dental Surgery, contained in pink booklet of Medical and Dental Council of Pakistan, the five groups of subjects consists of:-

Four major clinical subjects and One basic Dental subject i.e.

  • Oral Anatomy and Histology
  • Oral Pathology and Microbiology.
  • Chemistry of Dental Materials.

In view of the increased number of students, the Professors cannot possibly cope with the entire teaching by themselves. It is particularly difficult for them when a class has to be divided into groups for clinical teaching or the teaching of the sub specialities within their respective subjects. For instance the subject of Operative Dentistry has within its share, sub specialities like Periodontology, Dental Radiology, Children Dentistry, Endodontics etc., Each of these is a full subject by itself and in all the foreign Universities each sub speciality has already been separated because of its vastness and voluminous. Similar is the position of other major clinical subjects of Oral Surgery, Prosthetics and Orthodontics all having multiple sub specialities. So much so, preventive and Public Health Dentistry is by itself a separate speciality. An additional post of Assistant Professor, Dental Public Health, in preventive and Hygiene Institute, Lahore, was requested by the Dean of the Institute, which was also regretted by the Finance Department in March 1975.

In addition of the load of the work mentioned above the post Graduate courses in all the clinical subjects have made the Professors over burdened and it is impossible for them to discharge their duties with exactness without the help of increased strength in teaching staff i.e. Assistant Professors. The strength of the Post Graduates is considerable judging from the number of topics of thesis already approved by the Punjab University.

We are very much apprehensive that if the posts requested are not sanctioned by the Finance Department, the de-recognition of the de'Montmorency College of Dentistry, Lahore is a foregone conclusion and the responsibility of de-recognition will fall unnecessarily on the Department of Health.

We are hopeful however, that the Council in greater interest will emphatically stress on the following vital points: -

Gap between the Professor and the Demonstrator should be bridged by providing Assistant Professor in Clinical subjects.
Two more posts of Assistant Professors in de'Montmorency College of Dentistry, Lahore should be created for teaching the basic Dental subjects as mentioned above i. e : -
Oral Anatomy and Histology.
Oral Pathology and Microbiology.
Chemistry of Dental Materials and which are in line with the previous recommendations of the Medical and Dental Council of Pakistan (these basic subjects were being taught till last years by the Demonstrators of the Institution).
An additional post of An Assistant Professor, Dental Public Health, should be created in the Preventive and Hygiene Institute, Lahore.

Three basic Dental subjects in Dentistry should be clearly specified and posts incumbents of which should be allowed private practice or in lieu thereof non-practicing allowance be admissible.

N. B: Accountant General Punjab always refuses to pay non-practicing allowance to Demonstrators or Assistant Professors, teaching basic Dental subjects on the ground that these basic dental subjects were not included in any category announced by the Governent or approved by the Finance Department for such allowances as has been done for basic Medical subjects, Anatomy, Physiology, Pharmacology, Pathology and Forensic Medicine.

IT ALSO HAPPENS MDS NO MORE
M.D.S. admission no more. In a meeting of the Academic Council of the de'Montmorency College of Dentistry, Lahore held under the chairmanship of Principal Muhammad Saleem Cheema, it has been decided not to admit any student in any subject in M.D.S. in order to facilitate adequately to those students, who have previously been admitted. Principal, in his letter No. PE-2/476, dated 23.02.1980, has informed the Dean, Post Graduate Medical Institute, Lahore for taking necessary action. The Dean in his letter No. 1334/PGMI, dated 8.3.1980, has informed the Secretary to Government, Punjab Health Department, for the inability of the college to accommodate any student in MDS for the year 1980-81 due to acute shortage of the teachers.

During the past about six years, about 40 students got the admission in various disciplines of Dentistry for M.D.S. organized by Post Graduate Medical Institute, Lahore, in collaboration with the Dental College, perhaps, six students were the lucky to be declared successful and they were the luckiest to be in the Ist batch, who have attended the examination conducted by the University of Punjab and declared successful. The result of that batch stands perhaps the 100%. Those who passed
Dr. Muhammad Rafique Chattha, Dr. Rafique, Faisalabad,
Dr. Muhammad Aslam Ch., Dr. Dara J. Hormosji and Dr. Ahmed Hassan. Thereafter, no student could make his fate through. The ceasing of the admission, certainly has created alarm and even General C.K. Hasan, Secretary, Ministry of Health, Government of Pakistan, felt to have the anxiety and he too asked Brig. I. A. Khawaja, Secretary to Government of the Punjab, Health Department, how and why it has taken place, when in conversation with him in a meeting held at Lahore. The Pakistan Medical and Dental Council had written a letter to de'Montmorency College of Dentistry. No professor can guide more than two MDS candidates. Thus present lot admitted were divided fro various guides.